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Discuss This You Ask/You Answer: Countersteering General news

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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Countersteering

"I'm new to riding, and people keep telling me to steer the wrong way into corners – which certainly wasn't mentioned in my training! I've done some digging online, and have read up on the theory of 'countersteering' but there seem to be lots of conflicting opinions on the practice. Is it the right thing to do, or is it...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (10 December 2012 13:28)

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Dec 12

Posts: 1

MauriceG says:


There's lots of explanations offered on countersteering - some are rubbish.  To steer a bike at speed you need to get the tyres onto the edge - and the only way to do that (without falling off) is to lean it.  Once the bike is leant it will steer.  The front wheel (when rotating) is a gyroscope which has a few unusual properties.  Essentially it will keep upright until a force is applied on its axis - when the force is applied it will move (this is called precession) at right angles to the input.  With the front wheel rotating forwards a force applied on the handlebar will cause the wheel to lean (and will take the bike with it) - it just happens that a force forward on the right bar will cause it to lean to the right.  There is no need to move the bar, it just takes a force being applied to make the reaction happen.  Some of the bike handling schools demonstrate this using a bicycle wheel - get it spinning, hold the axle in your hands and push it to the right.  With the high speed photography on TV today you can see positive steering working with the front wheel off the ground in bike racing - the TT this year had quite a few examples of bikes cresting a rise and instigating a lean with the front wheel in the air.  Of course there's a whole host of other forces on the bike during a turn, but countersteering is the gyroscopic phenomena that instigates the lean.  Try it on the road - apply pressure but don't move the bars

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Sep 07

Posts: 2839

James600zx says:

yebbut, nobutt...

Snowmobile riders can use counter-steering too, so perhaps it's more about instigating weight transfer than provoking gyroscopic precession.

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